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ISSUE 13: August 3rd 2018

Welcome to this week's TFA e-BITES

Tell us what you want to hear more about?

To help you get more from your TFA membership, we would love to know what you want to hear more about and what you think of the service the TFA provides you? Maybe you recently attended one of our regional meetings, did you find it beneficial? If you use our website, how easy is it to navigate and which are the bits you use the most? Please send your thoughts to

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This Week's Top New Bites


TFA Attends NFU Drought Summit

The TFA’s Chief Executive, George Dunn, attended this week's drought summit arranged by the NFU and also attended by Environment Secretary, Michael Gove. Actions coming out of the meeting included: improved flexibility around abstraction licences, moving farmers higher up the vulnerability scale when dealing with mains water shortages, flexibility around the Greening requirements of BPS, making timely payments through BPS and agri-environment schemes, and looking at logistical issues with regard to availability of fodder. Click here to read a summary of the TFA’s position.

Environment Agency announces support for farmers during dry weather.

The Environment Agency has announced it intends to take a more flexible approach to water abstraction as farmers continue to deal with the pressure of hot, dry weather. The arrangements will allow farmers to trade water allowances, as set out in their water abstraction licence, on a short term basis without the need to change their license.

In severe cases, such as an immediate threat to crops and livestock, the EA are prepared to allow temporary emergency abstraction licenses.

If you would like to find out more, please call the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506 or read our members only Briefing Note by clicking here. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact Lynette Steel, TFA Adviser, on 0118 930 6130.

Dry Weather Conditions in England – DEFRA issue guidance for BPS, CS and ES schemes in England.

As we continue to experience drought conditions, DEFRA has issued guidance for farmers and land managers whose schemes have been impacted by the weather. TFA Members affected can find out what to do by clicking here. This Briefing Note also gives links to the relevant forms you may need to complete.

TFA apply pressure to the RPA

Now the 2017 payment window has closed, the TFA continues to work with the Rural Payment Service to ensure members with outstanding queries and payments are being processed swiftly. Following discussions held recently with the RPA top team, the TFA also continue to hold the RPA accountable. This ensures that issues of concern, such as processing of RLE1 forms, PLCD mapping changes and the migration of Natural England administration to the RPA, continue to progress smoothly resulting in minimal disruption to members. To keep up to date with the latest from the RPA click here to read their latest blog. If you have any outstanding issues with your BPS claim, please contact Lynette Steel, TFA Policy Adviser, on 0118 930 6130 for assistance.

Findings from the Farm Inspection & Regulation Review - Interim Report in England.

The review, commissioned by DEFRA Secretary of State and chaired by Dame Glenys Stacey, has found that the current way which regulation is enforced, exasperates responsible farmers and regulators and calls for a more dynamic, self-regulated agricultural policy and regulatory culture. The review only applied to England and will present full findings in December 2018. Members can read our Briefing Note by clicking here.

Are You About To or Have you Recently Lost a Short-Term Tenancy?

Figures over the past 2 years, from the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers, show that we have gone backwards in terms of security of tenure. The TFA is looking for case studies which it can share with BBC Countryfile to highlight this increasingly concerning issue.

If you are either on a short-term FBT, which you are worried about losing or you have just had to quit a holding because of a short-term tenancy, please let us know. Contact Julia Meadows on

And Finally...

Double-Barrelled Brewery in Reading, Berkshire have contacted the TFA to offer spent grain from the brewing process to our local members for use as animal feed (or however else it may be of use to farmers). There is approximately 1-2 tonnes of spent grain available on a weekly basis (some fluctuations will occur during the brewing schedule). Grain available will vary dependant on what they are brewing, it will be predominantly barley, with varying levels of wheat and oats from time to time.

The brewery is based in Tilehurst, Reading with decent access links to the surrounding area. If you are interested, please contact Mike Clayton-Jones (Double-Barrelled Brewery) on 07970 920463.


Events Coming Up

Would you be interested in a visit to Woldgrain Storage, Lincolnshire?

Want to learn more about the benefits of grain stores, how they work and the benefits they could give to your tenanted business? Let us know and we can arrange a visit to the facility in Lincolnshire. Contact or call TFA Head Office on 0118 930 6130 for more details.

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Date for your diary: South West Area Farm Walk

Thursday 30th August at a dairy farm near to Truro. More details to follow. If you would like more information or would like to attend, please contact Julia Meadows at the TFA Head Office on 0118 930 6130.

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